- Religion and Philosophy
Psalm 91-1-Abide and Dwell
Dwelling in the Secret Place
Pressing into the Secret Place
In the New King James Psalm 91:1 reads: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91 is bursting with promises of Divine protection and blessings! It’s like a fine bakery filled with tantalizing pastries. You want to grab up all of them but they are just too much to take in on one day.
Take a close look at what is offered in Psalm 91 and your head begins to swim, like with too much sugar. Protection from every sort of dangerous and destructive circumstance? Wow! You think, “This is just too good!”
Yes, almost too good to believe! But, back up. Begin at the beginning.
Conditions of the Promises: Psalm 91:1, gives the condition for obtaining the promises. That condition is to dwell and abide under the Shadow of the Almighty.
Dwell and abide are the contemporary translations of the Hebrew word yada . Looking into the meanings of yada in the Old Testament you find the word indicates a very intimate relationship, a deeply personal sort of knowing. Case in point: Adam knew Eve and they produced a child. That is yada .
So here is the conditional requirement for experiencing the protective promises of Psalm 91: a yada relationship with God, a deeply personal knowing that produces spiritual life. This relationship is as seriously weighted as that of any two who are affianced. Here is a life of focused commitment.
Abiding (yada-ing ) in the Secret Place of the Most High is not just a decision, a step to be taken, but a life’s priority and focus to be maintained. Abiding is not a been-there-done-that. This abiding defines your life.
Defines your life! Is it any wonder so few ever personally experience the promises of Psalm 91?
Personal Testimony: My own experiences of Psalm 91 power lead me to believe that we grow into more and more of the demonstrations of the Lord’s protection on our behalf as we grow in that intimate relationship He calls us to.
One of the more dramatic instances for me relates to my younger daughter Amanda when she was a teen. For several days I had been troubled in my spirit and called to intense prayer – not sure what for. On day four, she and her sister went with the kitchen crew of the weekend retreat to a swimming hole. In the hour and a half they were gone I was released from prayer and came to peace in my spirit.
On return, Amanda relates her near-scrape with death. She lost her footing at the top-side of some granite boulders. Leader of the kitchen crew had already repositioned himself due to someone else having trouble on the rocks. He was at the bottom to catch Amanda just before she hit, a drop of about fourteen feet. The man’s name: Angel (Psalm 91:11-12). I went into orbit with prayers of thanksgiving!
Amanda and I had opportunities to tell that story together during retreats for teens. Some of those teens were her classmates. Testimonies are powerful, especially when they come from your peers. I still remember those wide-eyed young people.
So, my point in sharing this story, besides the fact that I love it, is this. My spirit was troubled and I was called to prayer because this was a season when I was in a close, abiding relationship with the Lord. Days of being alone with mindless work allowed much time for focused prayer, worship, and meditating on Scripture. I was sensitized to the spiritual realm and as a result, I was drawn into what God was doing (or planning to do) for my daughter.
I am not always that focused and that present in the Secret Place because of circumstances of daily life. You know, things like:
- Where did the phone get left?
- Did you mail the tax bill?
- Do those spots look like the measles?
And, the list goes on endlessly.
Suggestions for Abiding: Dwelling in the Secret Place is a life-time pursuit. Changing conditions in your household, in your workplace, in your personal relationships require different strategies for staying God-focused. Stay flexible. When one strategy stops working for you, replace it with one that does. Here are some possibilities:
- Seek the Lord. He is not hiding. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. Call out to Him and He will answer. You may have to cultivate the ability to hear Him, but He does answer.
- Cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. In all things give thanks to God. As you do, you will be viewing the Lord as the center of all that happens in your life, which of course, He is.
- Make some time each day to be silent in the Lord’s presence. There are a variety of techniques for doing this too extensive for this article, but you can search them out.
- Monitor your self-talk. As you become more God-centered, your self-talk will reflect it. So, what of your current self-talk is counter to what God is saying? Nail that down and replace those thoughts with truth that comes from Scripture. You will need to do a bit of research a bit to find the right Scriptures to work with. So worth the effort!
- Sanctify the time by playing anointed worship music at low volume as you sleep. Use music that causes your spirit to move in prayer and worship during waking hours. This way you know that there is an anointing present. As your body rests, your spirit engages in worship. How is that for efficiency? Besides, you are told in Scripture that God inhabits, sets His throne on, the praises of His people. The Lord present in a special way? Seems so!
- Use recorded Scripture prayer during times when your hands are busy but your mind is not. Here is an opportunity to focus and memorize Scripture, to proclaim it in prayer, to change the atmosphere around you as you release the Word of God that alive and active. This strategy is potent for renewing your mind, causing you to think like God thinks. Imagine! Of course you can also play these prayers as low-volume white noise as you sleep.
In Summary: So there you have it. Psalm 91:1 is a Royal invitation to not only dwell with the Lord, but to draw up closely to His heart and develop a mutual life, a life lived together. Sounds a bit like marriage, doesn’t it?
Such a life requires a decision on your part. God has already made His.
After making your decision, use some or all of the strategies described above to help develop your intimacy with the Lord and stay in that place of abiding. Persevere! The goodness of God is unfathomable. Press into it!
Some Resources for Psalm 91:1
- Psalm 91:1 - Abide - Psalm 91: Powerful scripture of protection and blessing!
The meaning here is clear. Choose where you will spend your time. Choose what you will focus on. Choose what you will ponder, mull over, think about all day long. Potent advise. Powerful beginning to a promise-filled Psalm 91. And, this advise to dwe
- Psalm 91-based prayer on CD
A 2-CD set of scripture prayer offers soothing, faith-building prayer with nature sounds and soft music background. Gain ground in taming your negative self talk and overcoming anxiety with the Word of God that is living and active.